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It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. – REM

I don’t think there are better words to describe how I felt when I opened my college decisions. In fact, I listened to this song as I clicked to open the email.

Our society makes college admissions such a big deal. And it feels like a huge deal. It feels like the message inside of the email is going to change your life forever. And it will. And that is scary.

But as you sit there about to click the button, you may find that you feel surprisingly calm, because inside you know that no matter what it says, you are going to feel fine. You are going to be fine.

You will figure things out, and you will succeed, even if you have to go to your second choice school, or your fifth choice school, and even if you need to take a gap year and reapply. You will make things work because you know yourself better than any admissions committee ever will.

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I walked into my bedroom, locked the door, and turned on this song eight years ago. And as I clicked the button, for a moment, I felt free. Because no matter what it said, I was me, and I was just fine.

Next week, when you open your own decisions, remember that it is not an admissions committee who defines you. You are you, and you will make your own success in life.

If a college chooses not to take you, that is their loss. You will reach your goals without them.

But still, finding the courage to click can be hard. A rejection will feel final. And even an acceptance to your first choice school while maybe making you scream with joy may also bring you some sadness as it kills the dream of your second choice, third choice, and fourth choice school.

Regardless of the news, opening your college decisions can be an emotional experience.  Here are some songs that can help make the process feel just a bit easier:

 “It’s the End of the World” – R.E.M.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

“Let Go” – Frou Frou

So, let go, let go. Jump in. Well, what you waiting for? It’s all right. There’s beauty in the breakdown.

Things Can Only Get Better – Howard Jones

Future dreams we have to realize. A thousand skeptic hands can’t keep us from the things we plan unless we’re clinging to the things we prize. And do you feel scared? I do. But I won’t stop and falter. And if we threw it all away, things can only get better.

“Don’t Panic” – Coldplay

Oh, all that I know, there’s nothing here to run from, cause yeah, everybody here’s got somebody to lean on.

Carry On – Fun

If you’re lost and alone or you’re sinking like a stone, carry on. May your past be the sound, of your feet upon the ground, carry on.

Demons – Imagine Dragons

They say it’s what you make. I say it’s up to fate. It’s woven in my soul. I need to let you go.

“Happy” – Pharrell Williams

Bring me down. Can’t nothing bring me down. My level’s too high.

“The Final Coutdown” – Europe

I guess there is no one to blame. We’re leaving ground. Will things ever be the same again? It’s the final countdown.

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Rising up, back of the street. Did my time, took my chances, went the distance, now I’m back on my feet – just a man and his will to survive.

Brave – Indina Menzel

If this is the moment I stand here on my own, if this is my rite of passage that somehow leads me home. I might be afraid, but it’s my turn to be brave. If this is the last chance before we say goodbye, at least it’s the first day of the rest of my life.

You Gotta Be – Des’ree

Remember, listen as your day unfolds, challenge what your future holds, try and keep your head up to the sky.

“Forget You!” – Cee Lo Green

And although there’s pain in my chest, I still wish you the best with a … forget you!

“I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty

Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around. And I’ll keep this world from dragging me down. Gonna stand my ground, and I won’t back down.

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